By BBN Staff: Prime Minister Dean Barrow has addressed the $40,000 write off for Cabinet Secretary Carlos Perdomo’s son Joshua Perdomo, acknowledging that the incident “has left a bad taste in the mouths of Belizeans,”
but noted that there was a degree of misunderstanding with what
Barrow said that Carlos Perdomo was not in-country at the time the motion was brought so he could not tell Cabinet that the person referenced in the motion was his son. Barrow added that he did not know the Perdomo in question was the Cabinet Secretary’s son at the time the motion to write off the debt was brought to Cabinet by the Ministry of National Security.
“If I had known, I’m not sure what my reaction would have been…” Barrow said. “It is not as though the write off was done while there was still any possibility of collecting from Mr. Perdomo. The matter had become statute-barred. So there was no chance, even if Perdomo returned to the country, there was no chance of collecting the money.”
Barrow explained that Perdomo was granted study leave in 2009, and the motion did not come to Cabinet until 2019; however, under the Laws of Belize, any litigation for a breach of contract must be brought within six years. He said that given that the litigation window had passed, and that Perdomo had never returned to Belize since 2009, the funds were deemed unrecoverable and writing off unrecoverable funds is a normal procedure for any government.
“This was not a loan. This was that this gentleman, being an employee of the Government of Belize was given paid study leave. Nobody offered him tuition assistance, and nobody offered him a scholarship, he paid for the courses himself,” Barrow said.
He also said that Perdomo not returning to honor his service commitment to Belize was “deplorable.”